Mumbai FC’s rising star Jayesh Rane hails coach Khalid Jamil’s influence

Mumbai FC's Man in action Jayesh Rane

Mumbai FC have shown great resurgence in recent times after their early away day blues in the I-League and now sit sixth in the charts, just four points adrift of the summit.

A lot of that is down to Mumbai FC’s home form and a certain 22 year old forward who has given opposition defenders nightmares. Jayesh Rane has been the brightest spot in Mumbai FC’s campaign which is getting brighter by the day itself.

Jayesh truly announced himself after he ran the Salgaocar defense ragged in a 3-0 home win for Mumbai FC where he scored and assisted for a goal, having played a huge part in his side’s early opener. Since that game Jayesh has pretty much cemented his place in Mumbai’s starting line-up and also is the first name on the ‘To watch out for’ list of the opposition.

Jayesh’s series of fine performances were rewarded as he got a call up to represent the national side at the U-23 level earlier this month.

In an exclusive interview with Football Counter, Jayesh spoke largely about coach Khlaid Jamil and his influence on him, his stint with Chennaiyin in the ISL and also a growing fan club with whom he clicks selfies with after every game.

1. How would you describe your season so far?

A; The season has been good so far, both personally and for the team. I am enjoying myself a lot and it’s great to play at Cooperage in front of so many fans. The coach has backed me a lot and so I am enjoying my football.

2. What is the key to your growth as a player this season?

A: I think a lot is down to my coach. He has always backed me and that has been a real motivation for me. Plus I am playing in my favorite position. My coach has given me a lot of freedom on the football pitch and that has helped me thrive as a player. I am under no real pressure from the coach, who has asked me to play my natural game and has given not just me but the entire team a lot of belief and confidence. So I would say I am a better player from last season and it is all down to my coach.

3. Khalid Jamil gives very little away in his press conferences with us. How is he as a person?

A; He is a very nice human being. Every member of the team has a special relationship with him and he has helped each one of us out at difficult times. Even while training he is motivating us to work hard on our game and concentration levels and also keeps us grounded. For young players like me, he has always been a great support and also an inspiration.

4. You had a stint with Chennaiyin FC in the ISL, where you shared the dressing room with some of the all-time greats like Nesta and Marco Materazzi. How much did that help you?

A: It was a great experience for me and also the other young players. To play with the likes of Marco Materazzi, Nesta, Elano, Silvestre and many other great players, was a dream come true and I learned a lot from them. Being part of Chennaiyin FC definitely helped me become a better player, there is no doubt about it and I will never forget that experience.

5. You seem to have a fan club who sport banners with your name and photograph in almost every game at Cooperage. How do you feel?

A: I know I have a few fans who turn up and I am grateful to them. It is really nice to have fan following and it gives me more motivation to play well for them and do more good stuff in the game so that they go home happy after the game. It is an added responsibility and I love it.

6. We have seen you click selfies with the fans after the game. Is it a way to say thank you?

A: Yes of course! I make sure I thank them after the game for their support and I enjoy clicking selfies with them, it has helped me develop a special bonding with them and now it has become a tradition.

7. Any message you want to give to your fans?

A: I would like thank them for the support so far and would request them to keep coming for the games and support us in large numbers. We have done well at Cooperage and a lot of it is down to the crowd that we have been getting. So I would just appeal to bring more and more people to the ground and keep supporting us the way they have been.

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